Free Speech and the Fate of Socrates.
By Tim Wikiriwhi.
Reading ancient Greek dialogues we find ideological antagonists; philosophers of different schools of thought engaging in the Combat of Reason. The dialogues are so written that we can imagine scenes of eloquent, white robed gentlemen patiently hearing each other out without interruption no matter how long an exposition might be, the discourses all being delivered in the finest art of rhetoric and decorum. The rebuttals follow precisely on point and deploy as much reason as can be summoned, delivering devastating yet absolutely dispassionate retorts.
In reality however, apart from moderated debates, this sort of civilised war of ideas was then, as it is today, almost a complete fantasy. A charade that attempts to sell the ideal that certain mortals walk a higher path than the hoi polloi who are consumed with base appetites and drives.
Such dialogues are, of course, tools by which the interplay can be followed between various rationales; they can even be carried on by fictitious characters and Gods.
Yet when it came to contentious issues the Greeks were as given over to their lower passions as any of us are today.
They would take affront at having been bested in public and would plot by any means the downfall of their ideological enemies.
Such was the situation when Socrates found himself in peril.
Representatives of the status quo did not appreciate his expositions that challenged their cherished ideas and beliefs, and so they invented and spread malicious lies about him, calling into question his character. Nor did they hesitate to employ political force against him.
It was common back then to have such “troublemakers” banished. Yet the fate of Socrates, whose unassailable power of reason was causing them so much consternation, was to be slandered and brought before the court under the charge of ‘corruption of the Youth’. His prize for daring to question the legitimacy of the commonly held beliefs of his day was a cup of hemlock.
Socrates admitted to being a pesky gadfy. In reality his “crime” was seeking to get people to question the veracity of long held, backward and erroneous ideas that could not withstand scrutiny. And so the powers-that-were killed him for it.
Free speech has always been despised by those seeking to perpetuate falsehoods and control the minds of the “sheeple”.
A study of global history and of cultures across the ages reveals the same thing happening time and time again to a great number of the “Great lights” and Reformers of their day.
There are countless examples; yet it suffces to say that the struggle to attain the liberty for the average person to publicly articulate one’s own views that we hold by right today in New Zealand, the right to criticise and question the powers-that-be or to challenge the veracity of popularly held opinions, is of itself a priceless high-water mark of progress and civilisation.
Its a hard won “taonga” bequeathed to us by our heroic and enlightened Protestant Christian pioneering roots.
It is an ideal of the highest order, hard won over centuries of struggle by the greatest human beings who have ever graced this Earth.
Free Speech is a vital and powerful sword available to all citizens and that is the reason why belligerent political operators seek to take away this defensive weapon from those they seek to subjugate.
Free Speech is a lighted lamp to be held high so as to dispel the darkness of barbarous, backward, and unjust traditions and ideas that have yet to be vanquished, and it is for this reason that Freethinkers with new, progressive, and better ideas have always been in danger of being lynched by the mob who don’t take kindly to having their ingrained delusions exposed to the light.
We must always be vigilant, and fearful, and view with suspicion any political party or vested interest that seeks to pass laws that restrict free speech.
Guard it as you would your own family for, should this right be whittled away and lost, so too will other precious rights fall in quick succession and, if you fail to defend this essential right, you will bequeath to your children a life of virtual slavery and indoctrination.
Their future depends on their rights and liberties being secure and it is our duty to ensure they remain so on our watch until we exit the stage. Then it will be up to them to remain eternally vigilant for that is the price of Liberty.
The gravity of what is at stake today right across Western civilisation with the Liberals’ Globalist agenda and their determination to curtail free speech under the guise of silencing “extremism” and “hate speech” cannot be exaggerated. Those dark political interests who seek to remove the people’s right to free speech in a democracy must convince the population into supporting their anti-free speech legislation. They must deceive the gullible by propagating the idea that free speech of itself is somehow dangerous or oppressive, or that the activists exercising their rights to free speech and whose criticisms and opinions are subversive to the desired political agenda are themselves malevolent reprobates and a threat to society.
Hate speech legislation is effectively passing laws that use ad hominem character assassination as justification for silencing dissent.
Just as 2,500 years ago Socrates was legally convicted and silenced – murdered by the State under the pretence that he taught things that were “corrupting the Youth”, so too do today’s power-trippers seek to prohibit political activism that is opposed to their various ambitions on such things as climate change, immigration, Treaty separatism, transgender issues, compulsory vaccinations, feminism, etc.
With their minions embedded in the education system, mainstream media, and controlling the Internet, they have managed to create a thick fog that now clouds the woolly public mind.
As a freethinking individual who dares to swim against the current of political correctness I am not at all hateful, or racist, or misogynistic, or anti-science, or uncaring about the environment.
I am not against immigration but oppose the multi-cultural agenda of the liberal elite to swamp Western societies with a massive infux of aliens who do not share Western values of freedom and small government, bankrupting our societies in the process and creating social chaos from which the golobalists then intend to establish a borderless, New World order, having subjugated and silenced all opposition through “hate speech” laws and the fear they engender.
In political bodies in which they have either lost or failed to seize power, witness their penchant to damn their political adversaries as “Evil Incarnate”. No one is spared. Trump is literally “Hitler”! Why? Because he opposes the Left on just about every level from global warming, to immigration, etc.
Wherever populist leaders have been elected in Europe upon anti-globalist, pro-nationalist platforms, propping up traditional cultural norms and values, and refusing to surrender their nations to the UN Global agenda on Migration, we see a concerted outcry from the Liberals, calling them “Alt Right” or even “Nazis”.
It appears that the only ethnicity that the Left refuse the right to take pride in themselves and their culture are white people.
Too many liberals and Leftists are consumed by hate and yet not one of their pet policies are ever deemed to be “hate speech”.
They can denigrate the living and posthumously character assassinate whomsoever they please, and yet we don’t see the rest of the community demanding that the Left be censored from expressing their own views. Why? Because their arguments are so easily undone via exposing them to rigorous inquiry that they cannot withstand scrutiny, but collapse, and so the idea that we need to pass laws to combat them appears superfluous. And it is. Free speech is sufficient to deal with their flawed logic and petty assertions. That, of course, is why they want to silence their critics.
In defence of free speech in a recent Oxford debate former British Cabinet Minister, Ann Widdecombe, made the point that it is always better to destroy a bad cause by argument rather than by silencing its exponents.
Unlike the new “liberal elite” who find it almost impossible to countenance any kind of resistance from the demographics they have targeted for vilification and subjugation. The sheer audacity that a successful white man like Don Brash should dare to question the justice of Treaty separatism! “Outrageous”, they say. However, in their minds there is a set of even more reviled “scoundrels”. No one draws down upon themselves the concerted demonisation by these social warriors more than those ungrateful contrary souls who actually belong to the “favoured identity demographics” yet who refuse to embrace either the victim status or mindset that the controllers of identity politics have carefully crafted for them for the purpose of extorting political favours and advantages.
Such types as the self-declared homosexual, Milo Yiannopoulos, who defends the rights of Christians to refuse to bake Gay wedding cakes and openly speaks of the fear he feels at the Islamisation of Europe in light of how homosexuals are treated under Islamic Sharia law – a subject absolutely forbidden to be discussed for fear of pricking the balloon that promotes all the marvels of “multi-culturalism”.
Or women like the Australian academic, Bettina Arndt, who calls out the illegitimacy of liberal neofeminism and the ‘Me too’ movement as being nothing more than hysterical and oppressive forms of sexism against men.
When such people accept invitations to speak, groups like Antifa literally run riot because nothing makes a bigger mockery of their false identity political narratives than when members of the supposed “oppressed” demographics deny they are being oppressed and instead call out the social warriors themselves as being the ones who are practising bigotry and oppression.
Nothing angers them more than when Black Americans like Candace Owens tell them that their social construct of ‘White Privilege’ is nothing but a myth and that Black Americans need to stop blaming White people for all their problems and instead start to take responsibility for their own terrible social statistics.
The multi-cultural brigade harbour a special contempt for these brave individuals who walk their own path and raise their voices against collectivist “identity politics” because they can’t simply detonate their usual character assassination bombs against these gadflies which always work with such devastating effect upon whites, males, Christians, etc.
They can’t simply accuse Milo of being homophobic, or Bettina Arndt of being a misogynist. They can’t call Australia’s Iman Mohamad Tawhidi an Islamophobe or xenophobe or white nationalist because he happens to be President of the Islamic Association of South Australia. When he warns of growing Islamic radicalism via immigration, which is creating Islamic enclaves and seems to have a clear intent to have sharia law established in Australia, he can’t be simply dismissed by means of the usual identity mischaracterisations. And it is because of this that these independent thinkers are singled out for death threats, are de-platformed on social media, have difculties getting visas, and have their speeches shut down from bomb threats and riots.
At all costs, including violence, their message must be prevented from reaching the ears of the people whom the powers-that-be want to keep in ignorance – as useful idiots.
These contrarians are not haters; recognising the problems often more clearly than others, they are raising their voices for the sake of truth and justice.
Iman Mohamad Tawhidi
I have experienced this myself when speaking out publicly against the separatism that is preached by the tribal elite and which they expect all part-Maori to follow slavishly.
It would be dishonest not to acknowledge that there are pockets of bigotry and hate embedded in almost every interest group across the political spectrum, yet it is also important to observe that those who are most ardently working to enact heavy-handed “hate speech” laws are mainly voices from the Globalist and “Liberal” Left. “Hate speech” legislation is simply political censorship for partisan political advantage.
It is also true that pockets of light also exist within most groups and so it is that some more perceptive and fair minded liberals and Left wingers are themselves starting to gasp at how radicalised and tyrannical their own faction has become. For example, after Don Brash took up the standard of free speech after being banned from speaking at Massey University by its biased vice-chancellor, Jan Thomas, he was contacted by former Alliance M.P., Matt Robson, who said, “Listen, I have disagreed with virtually everything you have said over the last twenty years but by God I am 100% behind you in your standing up for free speech.”
A shame that Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little don’t follow the same line. In recent times it has been surprising and refreshing to witness some of the liberals’ most popular commentators “turn rouge” – having the courage and principle to turn around and criticise their own faction for becoming illiberal.
During a broadcast, when a whole panel of liberals were gloating about Alex Jones being “de-platformed” from Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, Bill Maher admitted that…
“Jones is not my friend and says terrible things about me”, yet Maher still turned around and rebuked his fellow liberals, saying “If you are a liberal you are supposed to be for free speech; that’s free speech for the speech you hate. That’s what free speech means. We are losing the threads of the concepts that are important to this country. I dont like Alex Jones but Alex Jones gets to speak. Everybody gets to speak!”.
Speaking on the Ben Shapiro show, the British journalist Piers Morgan has said…
“Populism is rising because liberals have become unbearable. In my core, I’m probably more liberal than not although fundamentally I see myself as a journalist and I like to see both sides and I can argue both sides of all these things, but liberals have become utterly, pathetically illiberal and it is a massive problem. What’s the point of calling yourself a ‘liberal’ if you don’t allow anyone else to have a different view? This snowflake culture that we now operate in, the victimhood culture, the ‘everyone has to think in a certain way, behave a certain way’. Everyone has to have a bleeding heart and tell you twenty things that are wrong with them. I just think it is all completely skewed to an environment where everyone is offended by everything and no one is allowed to tell a joke. If you told a joke ten years ago that offended somebody, you can never host the Oscars. So now there’s no host for anything. The Emmys now just said they’re not gonna host either, so hosts have gone, and soon, every award winner will go because everyone’s a human being and we’re all flawed, so no one can win awards any more because there will be no platform before they even get on the podium, so then no hosts, no stars.
Then no one can make any movies because we’re all flawed, so no actors, so suddenly, where are we? The liberals get what they want, which is a humorless void where nothing happens, no one dares do anything or laugh about anything or behave in any way that doesn’t suit their rigid way of leading a life. No thanks. So what’s happening around the world? Populism is rising because people are fed up with the PC culture. They’re fed up with snowflakery, they’re fed up with people being offended by everything and they’re gravitating towards forceful personalities who go: ‘This is all nonsense’!”
Comedian Rowan Akinson condemns Hate speech legislation in Britian.
What makes these sorts of introspective criticisms of their own faction doubly signifcant is that not only do we see that there are important voices within the Left who corroborate the opinion of how dangerous the “hate speech” agenda is to the fundamentals of freedom and democracy but this also demonstrates an inherent problem with lumping people into convenient boxes. When talking about any particular demographic or faction in general terms, this should never be construed to suggest “all members” of any collective are all guilty. While I am making a case against the Left’s fanatical, anti-free speech agenda, there are some on the Left who themselves are critical of the same thing and so it would be wrong to say “All liberals are tyrants who want to censor their political adversaries”. There are some liberals who are as passionate about free speech as I am, and it is these sorts of liberals whom it is possible to co-exist with and deal with on a civilised basis – via dialogue and rigorous debate.
These are not the types who demand that Internet personalities be de-platformed. These are not the types who riot in the streets when a critic of liberalism comes to speak on a University Campus.
These are the types who are prepared to engage in free and fair discourse and open debate, and are prepared to have elections that maintain a level playing field for all candidates to express their views. Some of the facts and assertions I made in earlier chapters may have caused some people a bit of angst. You might call these “unspeakable truths” that are like a “red rag to a bull” for social justice warrior types. It is enough that anyone daring to mention cold facts and figures or seeking to discuss certain trends and opinions such as the desire of European
nations to retain their traditions and national identity for the Antifa types to point their crooked fingers at them and shout “Nazis!…. Punch the Nazi!”
By mentioning certain facts about populism I do not necessarily approve and endorse everything that such populist movements are believed to represent. Yet I reserve the right to discuss these points of view and to argue their legitimacy on certain grounds. and especially to point out that many on the Left are misconstruing such movements as being fundamentally Fascist…a.k.a. “hateful”, white supremacist, etc. when in reality most of them are merely “conservative”. Such are their distorted evaluations of the average, modern day, European, Christian, heterosexual male. It is one thing for people to entertain their own opinions, yet quite another for them to then lobby or stand for government with the intention of passing laws to make their opinions binding upon everyone else. You only need to spend a few hours watching Youtube videos on the white male patriarchy, on immigration, etc. to see how these types end up with their own racist, sexist. and anti-religious freedom doctrines that they are hell bent on imposing upon Western civilisation by force.
Who is being hateful? And who is speaking up for the real injustices of our times?
Consider how Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has taken the opportunity from the measles outbreak in Auckland in 2019 to drive home her desire to make vaccinations compulsory.
She blamed the anti-vaxx movement for low uptake on the government’s vaccination programme and the spread of the disease, even though medical experts said there were other factors that were responsible.
The anti-vax movement is another unpopular minority group that has been singled out for censorship because they vocally resist the concept of compulsory vaccinations. They too have been getting slandered and de-platformed on social media.
The biggest problem with regards to vaccinations in New Zealand is that, because we have a state health system, they don’t take kindly to criticism of how they function, and are always covering up their medical misadventures. As the saying goes, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and so many people don’t trust politicians or the health system they run. Personally I am not anti-vaxx but I am absolutely opposed to compulsory vaccinations because there are defnitely serious risks involved. And here is where the issue becomes a matter of free speech and access to the whole truth – not just the government’s side of the story. It is a parent’s right to decide if they will risk vaccinating their kids and yet, to exercise this parental responsibility, they must be told the whole truth; they must have all the facts and opinions so that they can make informed and prudent decisions. Yet the power-trippers who want compulsory vaccinations, seek to downplay the risk and silence those who are morally inclined to raise the alarm and highlight the risks. The concerns of these pesky ‘anti-Vaxxers’ that lobby against compulsory vaccinations are dismissed as being fallacious, and they are castigated as being ‘anti-science’ – the equivalent of ‘Flat Earthers’.
Parents need to know that there is a risk of serious reactions to vaccinations. They should not be lied to about this or have their parental rights taken away by the state making it compulsory.
One of my wife’s cousins had a catastrophic reaction to the Rubella shot. She was crippled, and died young.
It has been proven that these adverse reactions can be a hereditary disposition. Thus families are going to be far more aware of such propensities within their own kin than politicians who don’t give a dam about such things and have convinced themselves that they are acting for “the public good”. And most importantly via the right to free speech it is the right of those who believe that vaccinations are dangerous to make their case publicly and it is wrong for the government to censor them.
In a recent interview Jacinda Ardern praised Stuff media’s campaign to make New Zealand history compulsory in our schools.
Stuff may as well be on the government payroll as it is behaving in a way that is completely contrary to the moral duty of the free press which is supposed to function as the vanguard against Government overreach, not propagating for its advance!
The free press is not supposed to lobby the State to indoctrinate New Zealand schoolchildren with their pseudo-history political propaganda. Compulsory State indoctrinated history is yet another usurpation of parental rights and is brainwashing and social engineering of the most dangerous type. The noted historian, Professor Paul Moon, recently said “Of course there are risks that, if done poorly, compulsory history in our schools could veer into the realm of indoctrination. It is no coincidence that one of the rst functions authoritarian regimes undertake on assuming power is to produce new history books in order to emphasise the ‘correct’ version of history that is passed on to students.”
Hate speech legislation is especially dangerous with respect to teaching history because, if it is allowed to be enacted, anyone who criticises the revisionist pseudo-history that is about to be forced upon our schoolchildren, he or she will be attacked as being “racist”, they might even receive visits from the Police, and be censored under threats of prosecution.
Free speech is essential for defending all our other rights and liberties from being violated by ever increasing State encroachment.
It is not hateful but heroic to stand against political powers that seek to violate the principle of equal rights for all.
I contend that we need a new constitution with an iron clad Bill of Rights that would put an end to any desire by parliament to pass laws in violation of free speech.
What is desperately needed across the globe in every nation is for the enlightened individuals from every quarter to come together and form independent social compacts of equal rights and limited government, putting an end to the group politics that pit neighbour against neighbour for the sake of their own party political power. It is upon this foundation that peace and freedom, and civilisation can grow.
In a free and just society everyone should have the equal right to hold and share their own opinions. Enlightened people realise this and respect the rights and liberties of others – even those who don’t share the same values and beliefs.
I respect the rights even of those who harbour a misguided opinion of my own character and motives. I respect the right of others to think that we defenders of free speech are of bad character and hold toxic ideas. They are free to do so if that is what they want – as long as they respect my equal right to hold my own opinions too, and to argue for them in the public square.
We must peacefully co-exist with each other under freedom and equality before the law. I can tolerate their dissenting opinions about my faith as long as they also peacefully tolerate my dissenting opinion about theirs. As Saint Paul wrote to the Romans “If it be possible, and as much as lieth in you, live peacefully with all Men”.
He also said to the Galatians “For all the law is fulflled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’.” Nothing is a clearer indication of intolerance than resorting to legal suppression of dissenting opinion.
Nothing is a clearer admission to having lost the argument than abandoning Reason and resorting to Censorship, which is a form of tyranny!
What is truly “hateful” and truly dangerous is not the free expression of ideas, but the desire to limit free speech and silence your critics and any contrary opinion by force.
We have less than 40 days to make submissions in protest to the proposed Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill which will enact Hate speech laws on the basis of offence taking and complaint.
Closing date 1 April 2021.
With this in mind I thought I would share one of the chapters I wrote for the Book ‘Free Speech Under Attack’.
Omitting the Climate change swindle, and the Great Reset, this chapter covers a significant portion of Leftist Woke Agenda they seek to use to justify their mass censorship, and oppression of dissenters opposed to their Totalitarian New World Order.
Please check out the proposed Bill and make submissions.
“The flame of Christian ethics is still our best guide”. Winston Churchill speaking at Oslo University, 11 May, 1948.
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